Target Walleye/Ice email

Male vs female walleyes, Bro ice trolls, When to use fluoro

Today’s Top 5

When ice fishing is more than just a hobby.

Fish-nut Alex Shepard took a Sawzall, can of foam, and a Catch Cover to his car to make one heck of an ice-scouting rig:

Our favorite comment/reply under the Missin Fish Outdoors FB post:

Q: What’s the wife say about you cutting a hole in her vehicle?

A: Why tell her? That’s what floor mats are for….

Lol! Although there’s plenty of ladies out there that’d probably do this themselves.

Btw – if you’ve never heard of Catch Cover (where ya been?!) they make some must-have hardhouse goodies:

Speaking of cool ice-fishing accessories….

The MarCum Lithium Shuttle was new last year, but still one of the coolest dang ice things I’ve gotten my hands on. Between the USB plugs and 1/4-20 ports, options are endless for mounting accessories (GoPros, Garmin Virbs, underwater cameras, you name it) and running ’em all day. Here’s a look at one of my units:

I like using a Flex Clamp or Catch Cover Pro-Snake Camera Mount to record the flasher, and a RAM Mounts Double Socket Arm w/ 1″ Ball Adapters — to move around the 3 different 1/4-20 ports — for filming me-self or down the hole:

The Lithium Shuttle’s 12Ah lithium-ion battery makes it all possible: Can extend a unit’s run time by 40+ hours [!] and trim off about 3 lbs!

Like I said, options are endless. Let us know here (with pics!) how you deck out your Lithium Shuttle. In the meantime, here’s a few other units for inspiration — spotted on the In-Depth Outdoors forums:

How to tell if big walleyes are male or female.

Pile of info in the full Gord Pyzer write-up here, few interesting excerpts below from his collab with Jeff Matity (who heads up SK’s Fort Qu’Appelle Fish Hatchery).

Whole convo came about after Jeff’s bro Jason Matity snatched this 29″ MALE walleye — he nicknamed Donkey Kong — outta SK’s Last Mountain Lake.

Spoiler alert: That’s not a frozen-over eyeball…it’s cataracts from old age:

> Jeff: “When compared with much younger female fish of comparable length, males…have heads that are disproportionately larger and longer. Their eyes are often clouded over with cataracts, their pigmentation changes from gold to grey, there’s a thickening or ‘stubbiness’ to their fins and roundness to the caudal fin (sloughing off most or all of the yearly growth of fin edges) and a leanness to their bodies.

> “…Males seem to nearly ‘stunt’ at a smaller age, while the females grow considerably larger. That’s because increased body size means increased egg mass and volume for increased reproduction.

> “Mother Nature does not urge males to grow as big, since sperm are infinitely tiny compared to eggs. As long as an individual male is healthy, he can produce fresh, viable sperm for the entire spawning season, unlike the one-shot quantity of ripe eggs from a female.”

Keep reading here to learn why Jason’s 29″ male walleye grew so big….

How fluorocarbon fishes compared to mono and braid.

First off: There’s no one specific line type that’s ideal for all situations.

That said…here’s why you should have a rod or two rigged up with fluorocarbon and how it stacks up against the other lines. Full write-up on, few excerpts below:

How it compares to mono

> Fluoro is going to be more ‘invisible’ than mono, making it the ultimate line in ultra-clear water or on heavily-pressured fish in community holes. You’ll really notice the difference when sight-fishing for finicky panfish in shallow water. Fewer fish hesitate to bite — try it side by side with a buddy who’s not using fluoro.

> It also has less stretch than mono, which is going to make it much more sensitive and help to feel those light bites. Less stretch means more solid hooksets, to really drive those hooks home into the tough upper snout of a walleye.

How it compares to braid

> There’s no better option for outside hole-hopping than fluoro. Braided lines will hold moisture, which can freeze up in really cold temps — especially when fishing outside the shack. Won’t have that problem with fluoro.

> Fluoro does offer a little more stretch than braided line, but that will help keep fish pinned. That slight stretch acts as a shock absorber to the fish’s thrashing head. At the end of the day you’ll have less torn-out hooks and put more fish topside.

The downside

> Fluoro’s needs to be replaced more often than braid or mono. Braided line may last you an entire season or two, whereas fluoro is going to have more memory and will get ‘the coils’ quicker on the tiny spools of micro ice reels.

> Make it more affordable by filling the spool with cheap ‘backing’ or old line, then put on just enough fluoro (say 50′ or 60′) to be able to fish for the day. When the line begins to coil, pull it off and throw on fresh stuff. That way a small spool can last you up to a half dozen trips instead of just one.

Did you know Sufix InvisiLine Ice Fluorocarbon sinks 4x more quickly than mono?!

Read the full tip o see how that changes the action of your bait, and what sizes of fluoro I recommend spooling up with.

Hottest lure of 2018.

Lol! Saw that spicy Rat-L-Trap on Jason Rylander’s FB page and had to share.

Betcha Jason puts a dash of that on deep-fried burbot chunks…when he’s not too busy bathing in ’em that is:


1. Renegade Outdoor Innovations is gettin’ ready for…

..the Fargo Ice Fishing Show this weekend. Literally bringing a mountain of custom-painted baits. The prep work looks…relaxing?

Said they’re “bringing the house” including a limited supply of Jointed and Shallow Berkley Flicker Shads, and exclusive show-only colors of custom-painted plastics (yup, they’re a thing). #DoWant

Btw word on the street lake is there’s gonna be a new-product showcase at the Fargo Ice Fishing Show:

> …Everyone that votes will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Garmin 63cv Ice bundle…Eskimo Pistol Bit…or one of several other great prizes.

Excited to see the people’s choice for best new gear, but even more excited to win that Eskimo Pistol Bit. 😉

2. NPAA annual conference is coming up.

Jan 4-6 in Minneapolis, MN. That’s the National Professional Anglers Association. There’s no better way to learn about the business side of the sport than to network with pros who’ve had success on and off the water.

3. Walleye pro Dylan Nussbaum gets KastKing.

For rod/reel sponsor. Dylan become the youngest NWT champ ever at the Devils Lake, ND event…won the first ever MLF format (catch, record, release) artificial-only walleye tourney on Mille Lacs…among a pile of other fishin’ accolades.

Keep doing your thing, dude!

4. You see Lund’s new composite transoms yet?

New High-Density Performance (HDP) composite transoms are a rot-proof alternative to marine plywood. Also stronger, stiffer and lighter. #Jackpot

5. MN: Don’t forget ’bout the new pike regs….

> “The intent of the new reg, spread over 3 northern pike ‘zones,’ is to reduce the number of small ‘hammer-handle’ northerns that infest too many state lakes.”

  • North-central: Limit of 10. No more than 2 longer than 26″ and all from 22-26″ must be released.
  • Northeast: Limit of 2. Must release all from 30-40″, with only 1 over 40″ allowed in possession.
  • South: Limit of 2. Minimum size is 24″.

Some new regs/limits for spearing too.

6. MN: Lake of the Woods fishing report.

7. ND: Devils Lake fishing report.

From our friends at Woodland Resort, who’s website just got a makeover.

8. New Vexilar Glo-Ring……for lighting up those ice jigs. Plugs straight into the quick-connect charging cable and doubles as a rod holder.

Slick units! Got to test a prototype last season and loved it…burbs did too:

9. Australia is about to use the carp herp virus…

…to get rid of their non-native carp. Wonder if our federal and state folks know about this:

> The plan to use the carp herpes virus to eradicate carp has been contentious, with concerns over the impact of large amounts of dead fish on water quality.

> “The virus has been tested on countless species of native fish, none of which have caught the virus. …confident the virus only affects common carp.”


New Zealand is trying to train dogs to sniff out carp (and catfish).

The cost of keeping Asian Carp out of Lake Michigan tripled to $778 mil.

Tip of the Day

Instead of picking a single waypoint to drill out, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl uses his Humminbird ICE HELIX w/ LakeMaster mapping to drive along the contour and outline structure, or a certain depth he’s looking for:

Quote of the Day

We’re going to make this the most unproductive day of work anybody could ever have.

– That’s Joe Henry talking about the Devils Lake (ND) vs Lake of the Woods (MN) showdown happenin’ Jan 3.

Joe and Tannery Cherney will be going head-to-head on Facebook live — from 250 miles apart — to see who’s favorite lake can kick out the most/biggest fish thru the ice. #WalleyeWars

I’d expect a few twists, special guests and pleeeenty of trash talkin’ lol. Cool idea fellas! More info in this live video announcement.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Fish-head Matt Peters hoisting up a Lake of the Woods slaunchback that snarfed down a “fire tiger” Phantom Lures Tilly. Solid fish and shot!

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Who is Target Walleye/Ice
Target Walleye/Ice — walleye during open water and all species during hardwater — is brought to you by Al and Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-nuts like you! #fishheads
Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye/Ice. He was discovered in Brainerd, MN after years of wondering how in the heck people break into the fishing biz. He’s in it now, but still can’t answer that question…. Brett is one of those guys who majored in marketing, only because there was no such thing as a “fishing degree” at the time…. Get him at

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